Project Description

Coffelt Conservation Easement

Orcas Island

Year Protected: 2012

Land Protected: 189 acres

Public Benefits: Working farmland

In partnership with the San Juan County Land Bank, the Preservation Trust acquired a 189-acre conservation easement on this historic working farm in Orcas Island’s serene Crow Valley.

In May of 2012, the Land Bank purchased the property, adjacent to the Turtleback Mountain Preserve, from Vern and Sidney Coffelt. The Coffelts have retained a life estate that allows them to live on the property for as long as they wish. (Sadly, Vern passed away in 2013; Sidney continues to live on the property.)

In the meantime, another nonprofit organization, Coffelt Farm Stewards, was established to ensure the farm would remain in productive and sustainable agricultural use. The organization started to suspend farming operations and disband early in 2019.

The Preservation Trust’s conservation easement on the property ensures that Coffelt Farm will be conserved and protected as farmland in perpetuity.